A FRAUDSTER who milked the benefit system for five years when he had thousands of pounds in the bank, has been jailed.

Abdul Khalique was jailed by Bexley magistrates for 10 weeks, after hearing that despite his £69,000 savings, he had made no offer to repay the benefits.

Khalique, who used to live in Lensbury Way, Thamesmead, was found guilty in his absence in February last year, after failing to turn up for his trial. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

The court heard, during a period of five years, Khalique had claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit for his housing association-owned home, but failed to disclose his savings.

In February 1998 he failed to declare more than £15,000 in savings. The following year his savings had grown to £40,000 but on the benefit claim form he declared he only had £500 in Premium Bonds.

By 2000, his savings were more than £47,000 but he did not disclose them when claiming benefits and in 2001 he declared savings of £1,000, when in reality he had more than £59,000.

When, in 2002 he lodged another claim for housing benefit, he declared he had no savings at all. In fact he had more than £69,000.

Altogether Khalique, of Maidstone, Kent, was overpaid £17, 464 in housing benefit and £2,958 council tax benefit.